Although most municipalities require rain sensors, most systems either don’t have one installed, or system maintenance isn’t performed annually to ensure that the device is working properly. If the sensor is older than five years, consider replacing it.
We’ve found that one of two scenarios is happening when a system runs continually.
Watering the street or driveway is not only wasteful, but it can lead to asphalt or concrete damage. It’s common that rotor and spray heads can move over time during the freeze/thaw cycle. Simply adjust the head (which may require a key) to spray correctly. If the head is damaged or unable to be adjusted, be sure to replace the head. Conserva Irrigation can easily adjust or replace the head for you if necessary.
It’s common that rotor and spray heads can move over time with the freeze/thaw cycle. Simply adjust the head (which may require a key) to spray correctly. Additionally, the head may have debris lodged inside of it causing it to become plugged. If the head is damaged or unable to be adjusted, replace the head. Conserva Irrigation can easily adjust or replace the head for you if necessary.
Many times, a soft or wet spot in your yard indicates that there’s a system leak. It may be a lateral (zone) line that’s leaking or damaged, or it may be the main line (indicated by constant leaking — even when the system isn’t running). Have your professional service provider diagnose the leak and fix it before a lot of water is wasted or your turf becomes damaged. You can turn the water supply to your system off until Conserva Irrigation can arrive on site. A leaking or damaged head may also be the culprit. These can easily be replaced. Likewise, a valve manifold may be leaking (usually inside of a green box buried in your yard) and will have to be diagnosed and fixed by your service provider.
There are many different types of controllers on the market today. Reference the manufacturer’s manual, if it’s available. If not, many manuals are found online in a PDF format and can be downloaded for your convenience. Conserva Irrigation is also trained to program most controllers, and can show you how to make the necessary changes. If the controller is outdated, consider updating it with a Smart Controller that’s far more efficient and often times more intuitive than older technology.
Choosing the best time to water can save a lot of water and may even save your grass. The best time to water your lawn is determined by several factors: rate of evaporation, temperature, wind, humidity (including dew), lawn diseases, and municipal laws (watering restrictions). The best time to water is early in the morning (somewhere between 2:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.), when the wind is minimal. This helps to prevent water from evaporating, plus you get the added moisture from the dew. Watering in the morning helps prevent lawn disease because it gives your lawn a chance to dry as the day progresses.
Without getting too technical with run time formulas (T=60 x Eto x Kc / Pr x DU), a good rule of thumb is to give your lawn (cool season turf) 1 to 1.5 inches of water per week, less rainfall. Fewer, longer soakings are preferred and will train the grass roots to grow deeper. You can run your lawn system with a series of catch cans (Tupperware or tuna cans). Record the average depth of water versus how long the zone ran and this will tell you how long to run that zone each week.
An anti-syphon valve is a device that prevents liquid from returning to the line from which it came, if a syphon action occurs. An anti-syphon device is frequently required on outdoor irrigation systems to prevent possibly contaminated water from being drawn back into the water supply lines, if water pressure decreases in the water supply line. So, to reduce the risk of allowing this contamination, many municipalities require that a vacuum breaker be installed correctly and per code.
In an effort to more efficiently distribute fresh water from a municipal well, city managers have established “watering bans” to regulate when large amounts of water are most commonly used. Daytime commercial water use accounts for much of the water used each day. Therefore, citizens are encouraged, or required, to water only during “off peak” times. Additionally, other factors for efficient watering of your lawn are taken into consideration. For example, midday watering is less efficient due to evaporation from solar radiation and higher wind speeds,so many municipalities only allow watering in the early morning or later evening.